Bring back e-sabong for the sake of my ailing father, ex-booth supervisor appeals

A former booth supervisor of an e-sabong betting stall has underscored the need to resume the operations of the online cockfighting, citing how it helped her father with his dialysis sessions and her family’s daily needs.

Ferdinand Jacob Radasa

Ferlie Radasa lamented that she lost her livelihood and income after former President Rodrigo Duterte suspended e-sabong’s operations nationwide.

“Hindi masama ang e-sabong dahil malaking tulong sa akin lalong-lalo na sa dialysis ng tatay ko at sa pamilya kong nagtitiis sa pagkawala ng e-sabong (E-Sabong helped me a lot, especially my father who is undergoing dialysis and my family who now suffers following the suspension of the online cockfighting),” Radasa said.

Since Radasa worked in an off-cockpit betting station, her father benefited from the free dialysis and medical assistance given by e-sabong stakeholders, including Pitmaster Foundation. According to reports, Pitmaster Foundation is one of the largest private sector sources of medical and financial assistance to marginalized people.

However, when e-sabong was suspended in May 2022, her father’s dialysis stopped as Radasa lost her benefit. Now, Radasa doesn’t know where to get funds to support her father’s medical need.

Radasa’s father, Ferdinand Jacob, narrated the struggles he’s going through now after e-sabong’s suspension. “Noong nawala ang e-sabong, naging pabigat ako sa pamilya ko lalong-lalo na sa aking mga anak. Nahihiya na ako sa kanila kaya hindi na ako nagpa-dialysis mula noong nawala ang e-sabong. Nahihiya na ako sa mga anak ko kung pano matulungan (After e-sabong was suspended, I became a burden to my family, most especially my children. So I had to stop undergoing dialysis),” he said.

“Dati, pag may e-sabong, bumubuti ang pakiramdam ko kasi yung anak ko ang nagfi-finance dahil sa trabaho niya bilang booth supervisor. Mas maganda sana ibalik ang e-sabong (When e-sabong was still in operation, I felt good as my daughter financed my dialysis needs through her benefits as a booth supervisor. So, I hope e-sabong will be allowed to operate again),” Ferdinand said.

Before the suspension of e-sabong, Pitmaster Foundation had a regular dialysis program that provided ₱4,500 financial assistance to dialysis patients. Lawyer Caroline Cruz, director of the Pitmaster Foundation, said they got their funds to aid dialysis patients from Pitmaster Live.

But with the suspension of e-sabong operations, data showed that more than 50,000 dialysis patients across 350 partner dialysis centers were affected.